ATLANTA – The economic impact of the surging delta variant of COVID-19 has yet to be felt in Georgia.

Tax collections in the Peach State rose by 12.7% last month compared to August of last year, the state Department of Revenue reported Wednesday. Revenues are up 6.2% for the first two months of fiscal 2022, which began July 1.

Individual income tax receipts and sales tax collections for August showed similar healthy increases.

Individual income tax revenue rose by 13.9% partly due to a drop in tax refunds issued by the revenue agency.

Net sales tax collections were up by 11.7% compared to August of last year.

Corporate income tax receipts fell significantly, however, dropping by 134.7%, as refunds outstripped tax payments. Corporate income tax revenues typically are more volatile month to month than taxes on individuals.

Georgians paid 12.6% more in motor fuels taxes last month than in August 2020, no surprise considering the return of traffic to near-normal levels as businesses shut down during the pandemic reopened.

If state tax collections continue to show improvement, Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia lawmakers will enjoy the luxury of a healthy budget surplus entering the 2022 General Assembly session.

That increases the likelihood the state’s elected leaders will follow through with a promised pay raise for teachers and income tax cuts for Georgia taxpayers. Those were put on hold during the economic uncertainty brought about during the pandemic.

This story available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.